Critics suggest Biden policies contributing to housing market instability

 March 17, 2024

As the 2024 presidential race heats up, attention has turned to Americans' concerns over home affordability, and according to some critics, President Joe Biden's policies in this realm may lead to his campaign's undoing as well as his impending evacuation from the White House, as the New York Post explains.

As Fox Business reports, home foreclosures are on the rise, and the cost-of-living crisis continues to grip voters across the country, resulting in conditions that are especially precarious for the Democrat incumbent hoping to secure four more years in the Oval Office.

Biden's “wrecking ball”

According to author James Bovard, writing for the Post, one of the Biden administration's most harmful initiatives is one the president touted during his recent State of the Union Address.

During his speech to the nation, Biden declared, “My administration is also eliminating title insurance on federally backed mortgages,” something Bovard characterized as a “vote buying scheme to subsidize mortgages with shaky titles.”

Given that the purpose of title insurance is to protect homeowners against substantial losses should it be discovered that the title to their property was somehow defective prior to purchase, the inherent dangers of Biden's move cannot be overstated.

Embodying what Bovard referred to as “wrecking ball benevolence,” Biden's scheme will permit -- in lieu of traditional title insurance -- grants of subsidized mortgages based on nothing more than “attorney opinion letters” containing a lawyer's belief that a property's title is clean.

The problem is, according to Bovard, that letters of this sort can simply be bought from unscrupulous providers, sometimes as cheaply as $199 per property, and [h]aving a page of pablum on fancy law-firm letterhead will be no competition for a clean deed – or a tangled land dispute that could go back generations.”

Ill-advised interventions

Bovard goes on to assert that Biden's title insurance gambit is just another of housing market interventions meant to cull favor with voters but have instead contributed to the affordability and foreclosure crisis sweeping the nation.

Subsidized home loans, he contends, have “helped send home prices skyrocketing in recent years,” with the average monthly mortgage payment nearly doubling during Biden's time in office.

As Fox Business noted, home foreclosures rose once more in February, with such scenarios rising most notably in the states of South Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Indiana.

The outlet notes that while foreclosure volume remains below crisis levels seen back in 2008, borrower struggles could worsen in the coming months as rising home prices, mortgage rates, and property tax bills put increasing pressure on Americans.

An especially staggering figure was released by Zillow, indicating that the typical salary requirement for homeownership on a nationwide basis has risen to $106,500, an increase of 61% from where it stood a mere four years ago.

The current administration's housing policies are, according to Bovard, “in the direction of greater recklessness” and the product of the president's erroneous assumption that he should be in the business of picking “winners and losers in the housing market.”

Just how damaging these moves -- and their broader impact on the economy -- may ultimately be to Biden's prospects of retaining the White House come November, however, only time will tell.

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